People have been seeking ways to improve the quality of teachers in this country for as long as most of us can remember. S.M. has forwarded to First Teachers a column by Amanda Ripley from the June 17 issue of the Arizona Daily Star that contends that Finland has come up with an effective answer to the problem. Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World — and How They Got That Way.
Ripley calls our attention to “something that hasn’t made many headlines but has the potential to finally revolutionize education. . . . In a handful of statehouses and universities across the country, a few farsighted Americans are finally pursuing what the world’s smartest countries have found to be the most efficient education reform ever tried. They are making it harder to become a teacher.”
Ripley points to reforms being made in Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Rhode Island to “raise the bar” for admission to the their states’ schools of education. In Rhode Island, a state “which once had one of the nation’s lowest entry-bars for teachers,” its education colleges will be required by 2016 “to admit classes of students with a mean SAT, ACT or GRE score in the top one-half of the national distribution.” By 2020, “the average score must be in the top one-third of the national range, which would put Rhode Island in line with education superpowers like Finland and Singapore.” … Continue Reading